Seattle startup Esper cuts 12% of staff, citing ‘current economic climate,’ as tech layoffs continue

Esper co-founders Yadhu Gopalan (left) and Shiv Sundar. (Esper Photo)

Esper, a Seattle-based startup that operates a DevOps platform for customers that manage fleets of company-owned Android devices, has laid off 12% of its staff.

The company confirmed the cuts to GeekWire. It did not provide a number for total employees affected, or total headcount after the layoffs.

Esper has more than 260 employees, according to LinkedIn, and employed 150 people when it raised a $60 million Series C round in October.

“Today, as part of a company restructuring, Esper has reduced its workforce by 12%,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “Based on the current economic climate and projections for future access to venture capital, we made the tough decision to eliminate roles and reduce expenditures. It’s rooted in changing our plan so that Esper can operate with the funding that we currently have and achieve revenue targets that will sustain us beyond the next two years.”

An affected employee who said he was promoted three weeks ago wrote on LinkedIn that the layoffs were made without email or call notification — “just locked out of my devices.” Update: An Esper spokesperson said “every affected employee was personally contacted to share this unfortunate news before system changes were made.”

Esper is the latest tech company to slash staff amid an uncertain economy affected by inflation and other factors. Venture capitalists are advising startups to cut expenses and extend their cash runways. 

Founded in 2018 by Microsoft vets Yadhu Gopalan and Shiv Sundar, Esper helps companies with development, deployment, and maintenance of devices used across industries such as healthcare, education, retail, restaurants, and more. The idea is to beef up traditional mobile device management (MDM) software with modern DevOps capabilities.

Insight Partners led the Series C round, which came shortly after the company raised a $30 million Series B round in May 2021. Other backers include Scale Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, and Root Ventures. Total funding to date is $100 million.

Esper hired a new CFO, David Barclay, in April.

The company was a finalist for Deal of the Year at the GeekWire Awards 2022.

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